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Albino (part one)

I began writing Albino two million years ago. I had an editor then, who lived a few blocks away. We would meet for breakfast on Avenue A, quietly forking into home fries as we discussed the structure of the story - the economy of objects. A dollar bill was not just a dollar bill in this story, it was connected to thought and action, to music and transformation. This was the story that told me there was a whole book to dig into, mining for diamonds in the backwaters of America, turning over the ugliest rocks to better understand relationships between fathers and sons.

Last week, I stumbled across a call for submissions - not for a journal, but for a podcast where the work of new writers was read aloud. I thought back to a reading I had done of just the first few pages of Albino - a messy hero's journey,  a young man and a guitar, a man with loss and regret, a man that still had something to lose. That reading went well, enough that I felt a strange elation stepping off the stage i…

lost & found


She was my friend. A real friend. That day when the news came, I was in art class. J was gone. J, who introduced me to the Sex Pistols and the Ramones. J who drank warm beers with me in a field talking about how we would bust out of this town, J who had lost a boyfriend to cancer when she was just sixteen. Him, the wisecracking track star that disappeared and eventually came back with no hair, bloated, pale and then finally gone. He broke her heart. I remember all of that. She told me how he struggled to pull her tight jeans off before they made love on the floor. She laughed and laughed about that, long after he was gone. We told each other everything.

J was older, and we knew there would be a goodbye well before we had to manufacture one. It was easy, because she would be back. I would get older, maybe taller with some luck. It was not goodbye, but see you soon. And then the call came, about her new life far from home, about a bottle of pills, and then calling the ambulance but it was too late. I imagined the windows were open, a cold air flipping the drapes around. That was how it all ended in my mind. Cold and dark.

There was a memorial, and then the funeral. We all walked, her loose group of friends suddenly without jokes and sharp tongues. The service was sunny, and loud. I felt so strange in that church, a million miles away from myself. But we left as soon a it ended, somehow finding ourselves at a pizza place. Hungry or not, we went in and sat around the big round table in the back. There was nothing to say. The food sat cold in front of us, grease painting the paper plates.

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